As the crisis in Ukraine escalates, Ukrainians living in North Texas say they’re keeping in constant contact with loved ones back home.
"It's been quite hard,” said Anna Hapotchenko.
Hapotchenko, an international student at Dallas College’s Richland campus, said she relies on daily phone calls from her mother, father and brother’s family for reassurance that they’re safe.
“Right now, it doesn't feel like anything is happening, because we've been in that situation where war was super close to us,” she said.
Hapotchenko said troops became a constant companion in 2014. She was just 12 years old.
“In schools, people like teachers were teaching us where to hide in case of any attacks or war starting, and we had all these badges with our names and blood type,” Hapotchenko said.
Her family’s basement was kept ready to provide shelter with food and blankets.
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It's a time some are flashing back to as the U.S. estimates there are now more than 190,000 Russian forces on the border, with President Biden saying Friday that intelligence shows President Putin is planning to invade within days.
“As of this moment, I'm convinced he's made the decision. We have reason to believe that,” said the president in a press conference Friday.
As a child of war, Hapotchenko remains hopeful that won't be the case.
“I hope people will understand that war does not solve anything, that it's not the right decision,” she said.
She also continues thinking of her family's safety while remaining grateful for her's with a host family in Dallas.